Kids' Phones Used for Cheating in School
Kids' Phones Used for Cheating in School

by Nicholas Pell

It probably won't surprise you to hear that some kids are using their smartphones for cheating in school -- but did you know that one-third of all teenagers may use their phones to cheat, according to a Common Sense Media survey?

Cheating peaks in high school, when about 75 percent of students admit to some form of cheating in school.

Here's how to talk to your kids about cutting corners -- and why they need to resist the temptation.

Lay Down the Law

Tell kids that there is no acceptable reason to cheat.

Letting them know where you stand on this issue will impart the gravity of the situation: Not only will there be trouble at school, but there will be trouble -- big trouble -- at home if your child is caught cheating with or without a phone.

You should also define cheating.

The Common Sense Media study found that a quarter of students don't think that looking at notes on a phone, texting answers or searching for information online via phone count as cheating. Make sure that your kids know exactly where the boundaries are.

Finally, let kids know that you expect them to do the best that they can do -- whatever that might be.

Bad grades might mean working harder, but the consequences for dishonesty will be worse.

Discuss the Consequences

Let kids know the real-life, long-term consequences of cheating: it can mean not getting into the college of their choice and a black mark on their records. What's more, it undermines their studies. Why bother studying at all when you can just pull the answers off of a cell phone?

Perhaps most importantly, let kids know what the consequences will be at home. Remember that kids might not be able to conceptualize long-term repercussions quite so well as the immediate ones that come from their parents.

Don't Just Hope

The Common Sense survey found that 52 percent of teens admitted to using some form of cheating involving the internet, so don't just hope that your child is in the small fraction of kids who haven't. With the abundance of Internet-connected mobile devices, cheating in school is only getting easier. Get involved. Help your kids strategize ways to do their best work so they don't feel the need to cut corners -- and risk far more than a bad grade.

Parenting: "Kids' Phones Used for Cheating in School"